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Crunch Report: March 23, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 30-34-3-3, 66 points, (16-16-1-1 home, 14-18-2-2 road), seventh place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Tuesday, March 22 @ Worcester (43-21-2-3, 91 points), first place, Atlantic Division
Wednesday, March 23 @ Bridgeport (34-27-4-6, 78 points), fifth place, Atlantic Division
Friday, March 26 vs. Toronto (29-30-6-5, 69 points), sixth place, North Division
Saturday, March 27 vs. Albany (38-27-3-5, 84 points), second place, East Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Wednesday, March 17 - CRUNCH 2, Manchester 0
Friday, March 19 - Bridgeport 3, CRUNCH 2
Saturday, March 20 - Hershey 6, CRUNCH 2

HOME TEAM IN CAPS


CHAD CONTINUES CHIPPING IN:
Right wing Chad Kolarik continues to put up points and has become a reliable offensive weapon for the Syracuse Crunch. He appeared in all three of the club's games this past week, totaling three points (2g, 1a). Kolarik tallied an insurance goal with less than five minutes remaining and was named the game's second star on Wednesday, March 17, helping the Crunch to a 2-0 shutout win over Manchester.

In addition, he added another goal and was named the third star of the game in a 3-2 loss to Bridgeport on March 19 and recorded an assist and a team-high six shots on goal in Saturday's 6-2 loss to Hershey to extend his point streak to three games. In nine games this season as a member of the Crunch, Kolarik has 10 points (6g, 4a). In 68 combined games with the Crunch and San Antonio, he has tallied 23 goals, 22 assists and 45 penalty minutes.

A native of Abington, Pennsylvania, Kolarik was acquired by Columbus from Phoenix in exchange for Alexandre Picard on March 3, 2010.

WORKING LIKE A DOG: Crunch goaltender Kevin Lalande has clearly established himself as the club's number one goaltender and has faced an incredible workload over the past two months. He has started 23 of the Crunch's last 27 games and played in 25 of the last 27, accumulating 1,411 minutes played over that span.

He appeared in 10 straight games from January 22 – February 13, starting nine of those contests. In addition, Lalande has started a season-high 11 straight games, dating back to February 27 vs. Springfield. Overall on the year, Lalande is 22-21-2 with a 2.82 goals against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts.

A native of Kingston, Ontario, Lalande was originally selected by Calgary in the fifth round, 128th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired in a trade by Columbus from Calgary in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on March 4, 2009.


UPCOMING GAMES:

WORCESTER SHARKS (SAN JOSE SHARKS):
The Crunch travel to Worcester, Massachusetts for their only visit to the DCU Center and second of two meetings between these two clubs this year. Worcester won the only other contest, 5-4, back on January 23 at the War Memorial at Oncenter on the strength of two goals from Logan Couture, a goal and an assist from Nick Petrecki and two assists from Ben Ferriero. For the Crunch, Brendan Bell, Dan Fritsche and Derek MacKenzie each notched a goal and an assist in the losing effort and Kevin Lalande came on to replace Dan LaCosta, stopping 12 of 13 shots in his 33 minutes of work. New Hartford, NY native and San Jose fifth round draft pick Steven Zalewski leads Worcester in scoring with 58 points (21g, 37a) in 68 games.

BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS (NEW YORK ISLANDERS): The Crunch travel to Bridgeport on Wednesday, March 24 to battle the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Arena at Harbor Yard for the first time since January 29, 2006. Bridgeport took the only other meeting of the season between these two clubs on March 19. Former Crunch left wing Jeremy Reich scored two goals, including the game-winner and Scott Munroe stopped 33 of 35 shots en route to being named the game’s second star. Chad Kolarik and Tomas Kana tallied goals for the Crunch in the losing effort.

TORONTO MARLIES (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch return home from their brief two-game stint in New England to face the Toronto Marlies on Friday, March 26. Syracuse defeated Toronto 4-3 in a shootout in the only other meeting of the season between these two clubs back on January 24. Tomas Kana (2g, 1a) and Bates Battaglia (three assists) each recorded three points in the win, while captain Derek MacKenzie added two points (1g, 1a). Kana then added the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout to seal it for the Crunch.

ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Albany River Rats make their way to Syracuse for the eighth and final time this season and last time in the history of Albany's franchise as the River Rats, with the team slated to move to Charlotte at the beginning of the 2010-11 season to become the Checkers. The Crunch are 3-4-0-0 against Albany this season and 60-51-9 in 119 all-time meetings against the River Rats. Trevor Frischmon leads Syracuse in scoring against the Rats with six points (1g, 5a), while Albany's Jerome Samson leads his club and all players in the season series with eight points (6g, 2a) in six games.


CRUNCHABLES:

Brendan Bell had his eight-game point streak snapped on Saturday vs. Hershey… The Crunch had killed off 10 straight penalties before Hershey's power play goal 1:19 into the game… Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman has seven points (2g, 5a) over his last seven games… Tom Sestito is currently tied for third in the AHL in shooting percentage (22.2%).

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